January 11, 2008
Written by C.N.
The final 2007 sales numbers for the automotive industry and as CBS News reports, the big news is that Toyota has surpassed Ford to become the U.S.’s second-most popular automaker, behind General Motors:
Toyota sold 2.62 million cars and trucks in 2007, which amounted to 48,226 more than Ford, according to sales figures released Thursday. Toyota’s sales were up 3 percent for the year, buoyed by new products like the Toyota Tundra pickup, which saw sales jump 57 percent. Ford’s sales fell 12 percent to 2.572 million vehicles.
General Motors Corp. remained the U.S. sales leader, selling 3.82 million vehicles in 2007. But that was down 6 percent from the previous year as customers turned away from some large sedans and sport utility vehicles and GM cut low-profit sales to employees and rental car agencies. GM’s car sales fell 8 percent for the year while truck sales were down 4 percent.
Overall, the year was expected to be the worst for the auto industry since 1998 as consumers fretted over high gas prices, falling home prices and the economy. . . .
Toyota spokesman Irv Miller said the distinction wasn’t important to Toyota. “We don’t pay a lot of attention to rankings such as that,” he said. “It’s always nice to see the product is recognized and accepted by the consumer. The consumer’s going to be the ultimate determining factor in who the winner is.”
I’ve written before about the controversy over whether companies like Toyota should also be considered “American” companies because even though they are “Asian-owned,” they also have dozens of factories located in the U.S., employ hundreds of thousands of American workers, and many of their vehicles have enough U.S.-made parts to be officially classified as “American-built”.
But in the end, the Toyota spokesman is right when he notes that ultimately, consumers will decide for themselves who the winner is. With that in mind, it appears more and more Americans are apparently deciding that companies like Toyota are the real winners, whether the rest of America considers them an “American” company or not.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Toyota Surpasses Ford in Sales" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2008/01/toyota-surpasses-ford-in-sales/> ().
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